Healing relationships.

I recently read an interesting article by Ambassador Allan Katz, CEO of American Public Square. He wrote the following:

So, I want to propose an idea to every person reading this column: If you voted for President Donald Trump, find someone who voted for President-elect Joe Biden. If you voted for Biden, find someone who voted for Trump. Engage them in a real conversation to understand why they did what they did. Don’t judge them because of their choice. Understand that they did what they did for reasons that they thought were right for the nation, as well as for themselves. Begin to listen to what they are saying; seek to understand their perspective. You need neither change your mind nor try to change theirs — that isn’t the point. Try to build a trusting relationship. It isn’t easy, but it can happen. I have successfully tried this myself, so I speak from experience.

Amb. Allan Katz

Now that the election is over, I suspect many of us know someone who did not have the same beliefs about who should be elected. It could be a relative, and the holidays may well present an opportunity for some relationship healing. Listening and understanding another’s opinions does not come naturally for me, so I’m asking my family and friends to call me on this if they feel I’m not listening.

Understanding others is one of the reasons I started this blog; let the discourse begin.

…that’s 30, if your are listening.

2 thoughts on “Healing relationships.

  1. On November 6 I made a delivery of instruments to Elk Valley HS in Elk County, KS. Few probably know where that is as the town of Longton, KS is less than 350 population. On November 23 I made another delivery to Chase-Raymond School District in Chase County, KS which is west of McPherson. Both trips were post-election and the first not enough time had passed for election signs to be removed; however, the second trip might have given folks enough time to take down their signs and flags. That wasn’t the case and, since I was in rural Kansas for both trips, I wasn’t surprised at the strong support for Republican candidates. What did surprise me somewhat were the number of hand-painted “Stop the Steal” signs I saw. I don’t know if it is possible to find someone who voted for Republican candidates in my neighborhood since I would only know if they still had yard signs in place. The only family member I know who might have voted for the Republican candidate(s) is a nephew in PA who has extracted himself from our weekly extended family Zoom calls (we don’t usually talk politics and he took exception to a remark made before the election). We were raised in an Eisenhower Republican home and I admit to having voted for Nixon in 1968, my first presidential election. I try to assess candidates for any office based on their total being, understanding that no single candidate is perfect. If I were to talk with someone who voted for Trump, I doubt that I would ever reach an understanding of how that person could excuse the mountain of evidence of moral, ethical, and personal issues could be overlooked. If given the chance, though, I will try to be accepting.

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  2. My greatest concern about the division of our post-election country is also for our own family. Our ongoing conversations are guarded as to not cause greater devide. Like Harold Frye, we cannot excuse the unethical leadership just to support some of our more politically conservative and biblical values. My approach to these needed family conversations is something I learned in seminary that has served me well. When you try to heal a relationship go slow and know that you first communicate your care. Once care is established then deal with the conflict. Caring plus conflict equals growth. Being a retired pastor I would also encourage prayers!

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